Diary Post: 31/01/24

On Jan. 31, 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite, Explorer 1, from Cape Canaveral.

I was nine-and-a-half and was reading the Hardy Boys [they made a rocket ship to the moon with junkyard savage] I suspect the space age and books [both Gden Treasury series and science fiction stories had much to do with my becoming a scientist and a writer

John C. Mannone, Tennessee, USA Jan 31st 2024


Diary Post : 29/01/2024

Astronomy Picture of the Day: 5000+ APOD images form the pixels of this 20-year celebratory image APOD is 20 Years Old Today

Welcome to the vicennial year of the Astronomy Picture of the Day! Perhaps a source of web consistency for some, APOD is still here. As during each of the 20 years of selecting images, writing text, and editing the APOD web pages, the occasionally industrious Robert Nemiroff (left) and frequently persistent Jerry Bonnell (right) are pictured above plotting to highlight yet another unsuspecting image of our cosmos. Although the featured image may appear similar to the whimsical Vermeer composite that ran on APOD's fifth anniversary, a perceptive eye might catch that it has been digitally re-pixelated using many of the over 5,000 APOD images that have appeared over APOD's tenure. (Can you find any notable APOD images?) Once again, we at APOD would like to offer a sincere thank you to our readership for continued interest, support, and many gracious communications. If you consider yourself a fan of APOD, you might want to consider joining the Friends of APOD.

Diary Post: 27/01/2024

In 2021, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel [Vol 24] published my poem "Antietam Creek" The filtered image that I took myself in June 2013 inspired the poem This is part of an ongoing project--an experimental historical novel!



I failed to emphasize why I posted an image and poem on Antietam's Creek and Bridge. It's a visual technique that serves to inspire a little (or a lot) more.

In this case, I used the picture formating tools in Microsoft Word. The tufts of grass in the original photograph appeared to be transformed into dark splotches that I interpreted as mini-ball or artillery projectiles. It guided me deeper into that late-day portion of the Battle of Antietam.
In addition to what's found in Word, there are other picture editing tools. I found that ToolWiz Photo is free and extremely comprehensive. I think it's only available for Android cell phones but it's worth investigating. Application of prism filters (61 to choose from) can take a ho-hum picture and render a surreal one, and sometimes an abstract one.

As an aside, abstract images often make better writing prompts than concrete ones. Why? I think because the brain desperately tries to make sense of the image and therefore takes you in directions never expected.

This may be one reason that pareidolia works so well in imagining shapes in otherwise amorphous images, like clouds.

As I am writing this note, I am thinking of seriously creating a craft lecture on all of this stuff. I don't think one is already in existence (at least in writing circles) that I am aware of.

John C. Mannone, Tennessee, US

John C. Mannone, Tennessee, US

Diary Post: 25//01/24

John C. Mannone, Tennessee, US

Diary Post 23/01/23

Diary Post: 21/01/2024

Periodic Inspiration

I photographed this poster at the high school where I teach. You all might remember that my first two degrees are in chemistry🙂

I probably should've saved this for my weekly Ekphrastic Workshop but poetry (or other creative forms) should not be held hostage by agenda.

John C. Mannone, Tennesses, US

Diary Post: 19/01/2024

Ekphrastic Workshop, where art inspires art
A weekly Friends of CWG virtual workshop: We share our work, offer critiques, discuss the craft of writing, and suggest publication venues [Facilitator: John C. Mannone].
We will meet virtually on Thursday, January 25, 2024 th--e 188th workshop in the series: Frost crystals on a car windshield [Photograph and photographic art by JCM, Jan 5, 2024]--think crystals and light, ice and cold, rock candy, fractals, forensics, and whatever else your imagination can conjure! ________________________________________
Join with Zoom URL will be
[Thank you, Pat] Starting at 8:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central, Thursday, 1/25/2024


John C.Mannone picks up our January Diary posts from today. We are delighed to have him aboard, as we spin the month in, here, in this space, and we much appreciate his time and the experience he brings to the table. It's a grand Linnet's Wings welcome to John.

Diary Post: 17/01/2024

Finding Sun

It was a beautiful morning; snow-swept scenes led to enchanted views as dawn produced a pearling fog that contrasted with the white sweep. In the farmer’s field, sun struggled to break its hold and sheep lay like white curly statues. as if frozen.

Then precision placed sun found an oxygen vein and lucid light appeared, and all was well. The morning became a beautiful day as light found a footing and in the sparkling frost-filled-garden small birds led a parade through the bird feeders and hedges.

And at sundown through my window, the lake encircled the small peninsula and sky produced an aura of greys and peaches that fell into twilight, that fell into dusk into night; and once here stars appeared as stepping stones inviting thoughts of realms beyond our earthly ties.

For in the dance of night and day, in the cycle of the earth,
lies the beauty of existence, the wonder of our birth.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan, Co. Westmeath

Diary Post: 15/01/2024

A whirlwind spectrum of yellows, lavender, and purples intermingled with the dawn colours and warm and deep contrasting tones echoed with hints of soft light that awakened a frosted glaze that was backlit by a rising sun until a window was filled with luminous tranquil motion.

A swirling easy dynamism, a vortex of cool, highlighting the lands intricate patterns and shapes, enveloping ideas, thoughts; and so it was, as the cold planted the form; and so it was at noon and in the afternoon until the twilight fell and brought down dusk, in metal grey and peachy pinks, that filled the sky, to draw the sun, as night closed in, to draw a sense, of calm, of wonder, on this precious day.

In velvet night, stars whisper tales untold,
As dreams weave through the dark, in threads of gold.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan, Co. Westmeath

Diary Post, 13/01/24

Trees enfolded in mist at Portnashanagan.

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan, Co. Westmeath

Diary Post: 11/01/2024

I had appointments, in town, in Mullingar, all morning,everyone was so nice!! the day was overcast and cold, but the cold played second fiddle. I got back to the house at 15.38, that was the day well done.

Now. The 'tree’ that spills over the fence is ..
Well, it’s no more than a large, high, bushytype of tree, that is if you are not a bird, but then no one is going hunting for birds in that tree with so many other spectacular tree species in the area to choose from. Smart birds.

The murmuration landed just as I put on TV; after my day in town, I was playing catch up on the Christmas soaps. I was watching Bob and Cathy, on Emmerdale, when the murmuration took off again, and took my attention with it. It spun around the garden, managed a few high-aerial-jinks and settled back down on the tree, so I rewound Cathy and Bob keeping an eye on the small birds as they formed a halo type effect. three to four sitting out on all the bare branches that poked out of the centre mass of greenery that filled the mid space--they embossed a light form on the dark sky, like a halo or glory.

So then while admiring the artful tree effect I settled down to my programme again, only to see them take off again; this time I got up looking for my phone, I’d get a video, or a photo, but my battery was dead, so I went to the window and watched the lovely display, as the soaps played out behind me. And so it went, for the next ten minutes or so; for my next tv viewing slot I’m going to close the curtains. But today I renamed the TV chair the 'Bird Viewing Chair.’

It’s people that chart a day /that give it heart/they light a path/with tales to impart.
A touch of kindness,/a gesture so sweet,/In every encounter, /in every meet.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post 09/01/2024

It was a dark dismal morning that opened out under a grey gun metal coloured sky, And the scoundrals of the skies set down. Magpies, rooks and crows make light of the darkened mood, their chattring presence, an early morning matins; a chant; a hymn, while on the magnolia tree a few brave buds appeared, they looked more than gorgeous in the gloom.

Grey and green--the morning colours-- are good contrasts, if one finds a shade or tint that compliment one's complexion and today's was fresh and wholesome; the air crisp and healthy; enough to encourage a weatherly turnabout.

And after lunch, it happened, the sun cheered up; and a halo of tinted shade surrounded the background objects; colourful light shimmied skinny border outlines on the fixtures and fittings like the tree trunks, the fencing, even the cat that sat like a statue on the grass. Now as dusk sets in, a color fill of mauve, blue, cream and grey tops-all and in the gathering twilight, a magpie sits atop the magnolia tree, its black and white feathers take on a silvery sheen, reflecting the last vestiges of daylight.

The garden, once alive with the chatter of rooks and crows, now settles into a hushed anticipation. The magnolia buds -- brave splashes of color in the morning's gloom -- now close gently, as if to preserve their beauty.

Then suddendly the magpie cocks its head, listening intently, as if understanding an ancient song. and in this interplay of light and shadow, of sound and silence it sweeps across the garden, a spectral figure against the deepening blue. Its departure signaling the end of day.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary posts 07/01/2024

It’s another day of frost and iced blue skies, the sun is isolating sunspots and colour picking sections of landscape and treescape to highlight and contrast the dark blue shadows. Condensed quivering breaths are lifting off the calm lake.

A fat black cat sits out on the bridle path, patiently waiting on a show of life, waiting for a straggler to show, maybe a shivering mouse will forget itself in this new day wilderness, for most of the small creatures are gone to ground, it’s too cold, even the birds are abed in their feathered nest.
It’s too cold for all but mad cats, so surely something will move soon for his delectation, from here I can hear him lick his lips in anticipation.

But minutes later, on finding no prey or entertainment, in the frosty silence, he decides it's time to return to the warmth of a nearby home. With a final, disdainful glance, he arches his back in a luxurious stretch, then gracefully turns and trots off, his paw prints leaving a dotted trail on the grass. And as he disappears into the distance, a small, brave wagtail flits from its hiding place, chirping merrily, perhaps in relief or defiance. And as the world around continues in its icy hush, the sun still plays its game of colors against the snow; and life, subtle and persistent, carries on in the quiet winter day on Lough Owel.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post: 05/01/2024

I lost my Kindle - in transit- on the way home for the holidays, either that or I have mislaid it here in the house; either/or I can’t find it, so I downloaded a free reader from Amazon and I’m using my laptop to read.

I bought 'The Shaping of a Psychologist’ by Tony Bates as part of my Christmas Book collection and I was half-way through the read when I got home. He’s a great man to quote others in the field or even in the supporting industries and it’s a very honest write, as we are of a similar age I can relate to his timeline. The bits about Jung, when he describes how Jung’s wife moved his mistress into their home to help him when he was depressed is a good one. Funny haha No, Me Too in action there.

So I open my new downloadable Kindle that cost nothing on Amazon and I immediately go searching for Linda Goodman, --Bates penchant for quoting reminded me of one I’ve been meaning to look up. I read all Linda’s work back in the 80’s and she had four lines that I noted down in my mind at the time but I forgot to remember which book they are in, so I am now the owner of the two new Goodman Amazon books that are up on Kindle--the quote btw is in neither of them-- and having searched the AI, it reckons what I’m looking for might be found in a third that is only available in paperback.

I’m glad I have the second half of the psychology book to read still, I’ll surely learn a few survival oldie/new tactics as I might need them before this year is out, if I ever find that quote again, I'll post it up here.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post: 3/01/2024

This morning, through my window, the countryside disappears into a ghostly fog, and the winding boreen that runs down to the lakeshore, is shrouded in a milky haze. Everything is hushed and still.

Ancient trees stand like watchful sentinels as dew-laden cobwebs glisten in the hedgerows. From the cloud a faint chorus of distant bird song cuts the quiet; the air is thick with the scent of moist earth and the remnants of a wood fire somewhere in the distance.

On our timeline three kings make their way to pay homage to the babe that was born.

On our timeline our world is holding its breath.

Mari: Portnashanagan 03012024

Diary Post: 1/01/2024

Daybreak at Portnashanagan

Some trees are taller than the morning sky.
This, a challenge for the birds who ride the tides.
Like the beeches that shoot branches o so high
To make light and shade, and also act as guides.

In bright and coloured days their tone impresses.
With silver grey, so elegant to behold.
A life de-stressing sign: a prayer to bless us,
And the creatures that they protect from the cold.

When colder than the cold means fire lockers.
A cold so hot it burns all in its sight.
Then high tops when sunkissed are beta blockers,
It's in gigabytes they grow drops of golden light.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Jan, 2024

Diary Post: 28/01/2024

Diary Post: 30/01/24

wrt gravitational waves

Poets Respond

Some exciting news wrt gravitational waves:
'Sci-fi instrument’ will hunt for giant gravitational waves in space

The first experiment to measure gravitational waves from space has been given the green light by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will use the precise timing of laser beams traveling across 2.5 million kilometers of the Solar System to hunt for gigantic ripples in space-time caused by mergers between supermassive black holes, among other events.

ESA announced on 25 January that construction of the multibillion-euro mission will begin in 2025, with the launch planned for 2035. “It’s extremely exciting," says Valeriya Korol, an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and a member of the LISA collaboration. “It will open a window to gravitational-wave sources that only LISA can see."

I'm thinking about Rattle's Poets Respond

Dairy: 24/01/2024

Sometimes a poem is hiding in the clouds 🙂

The phenomenon of seeing recognizable things in otherwise random patterns that aren’t part of objective reality is called paraedolia. The June 18, 2020 picture was even sharper a couple minutes earlier! It prompted a prose poem, "Seeing Dragons," that was published in Altered Reality Magazine in the summer of 2021🦖 https://www.alteredrealitymag.com/seeing-dragons-by-john.../

John C. Mannone, Tennessee, US

“Afterburn" is a poem that is arguably a braided poem and/or one that uses a metaphor in both directions: remembering heartbreak in a relationship as well as a commemoration of a heartbreaking event 38 years ago [January 28, 1986, and vice versa
From my collection Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry [The Linnet's Wings Press, Feb 2022] https://www.amazon.com/Flux-Lines-John-C.../dp/1916462294

Diary Post: 26/01/'24

Ekphrastic Workshop, where art inspires art

A weekly Friends of CWG virtual workshop: We share our work, offer critiques, discuss the craft of writing, and suggest publication venues [Facilitator: John C. Mannone].

We will meet virtually on Thursday, February 1, 2024 -- the 189th workshop in the series: Though we are in the throes of winter, the balmy day today (despite the rain) has me yearning for spring. The park hosting a multitude of flowers and other plants is across the street from Powell United Methodist Church (Collins Preserve Park or, more completely, Stella Moore Collier Homestead Park in the National Registry; 330 Emory Road, Powell, TN).

There are stories and poems hiding among the branches. Find them! [Photograph by JCM, Friday, April 14, 2023, 12:30 p.m.]

John C. Mannone

Diary Post: 22/01/2024

One of many ways to defeat "writer's block" is to explore another creative outlet // Consider a type of Found poetry [or micro prose]--the erasure is produced from blacked-out text or artistic highlighting. Here is an example of the fusion of visual art and poetry from Pinterest.

(Sometimes I excise the text and reassemble the words in the order of appearance and supply punctuation and line breaks.)

John C. Mannone, Tennesse, US

Diary Post: 20/01/2024

As I was eating my oatmeal, I remembered a prose poem in the Spring 2021 issue of Songs of Eretz called "Circling Back" [about a quarter of the way down the page or search for my name once there]; I wrote it during the covid days that tried to incite despair
Now, the style I ate today is a bit different: I added golden raisins and a frozen strawberry/blueberry mixture--it was a berry good oatmeal.

Diary Post: 18/01/2024

n the 60s in Baltimore, remember as a teen when I'd walk home from my best friend's house 10 blocks away in the cool dark. When I walked under a lit lamppost I felt, for a moment, a bit warmer. I knew then that it was just a psychological effect. The only other thing that might explain it is physiological. My adrenaline might have surged because those walks were often scary [encounters with unfriendly dogs, or people]. The changes in adrenaline concentration in my blood may indeed had a real effect on sensed temperature but I'm conjecturing and haven't researched it.

However, the current weather situation, after getting at least 10 inches of snow followed by an Arctic blast which plummeted temperatures here in east TN to -2 F, brings another phenomenon the meteorologists fail to mention. I was reminded a couple hours ago (11 am) when the temperature significantly increased to +12 F that in sunny places, surface slush was visible#. In the less insolated places (like my car in the shadow of trees), thick hard ice plagued my wheels. The reason that some ice melted (but more of it likely sublimed) cannot be explained by classical thermodynamics. We have to turn to quantum mechanics for the answer. In simpler terms, ice could directly absorb energy from the sunlight. In particular, discrete quanta of light would excite vibrational levels. That means water ice absorbs infrared in the sunlight, heating it just enough to allow ice to sublime to vapor and/or melt to liquid even though the thermodynamic temperature is well below freezing. The effect is limited but can help "thaw" frost on the windshield of a parked car facing the sun.

Of course, a more effective way to melt ice is to put down some kind of salt to take advantage of the colligative properties of matter. Here, it's freezing point depression, but there are serious limits to how much depression of temperature can occur.
Magnesium chloride is preferred over sodium chloride because typical salt will damage concrete but the magnesium salt won't but is hard and will spin off tires as windshield-cracking projectiles as evidenced by many driving in the Denver area).

Anyway, stay inside if you can, be safe if you can't, and take the opportunity to write. Who knows, a little science might inspire your work!

# [my asterisk key just failed] I just went out to photograph it but within two and a half hours it had refrozen because the underlying layer was solid and very cold. The air was still, so the slush had refrozen the liquid by conduction.

John C. Mannone, Tennessee, US

Diary Post: 16/01/2024

This morning I was thinking about light and carbon and photons and photosynthesis.

Daylight as Camera: Just as a camera captures light to create an image, daylight (or sunlight) is captured by plants through photosynthesis.

This process 'captures' the energy of sunlight, (the photon) turning it into a form that can be used to 'develop' the sustenance of all living beings, in a similar fashion light (the photon) is essential in photography for creating visuals that decorate all our homes and supply us with 'soul’ food.

The glucose produced by photosynthesis (trapping the photon) forms the foundation of the food chain. Directly or indirectly, it provides the 'life’ energy source (Oxygen ) for all living beings.

While I was in hospital during the week a nurse was chatting about the amount of sickness that was around over the Christmas holidays. She spoke of patients who could not 'shake’ that bad cold/flu/virus, but the sting in the tail for her was that for the first time she realised how climate change was affecting the atmosphere and people’s lives.

It was when she said 'for the first time' ... that's what got to me ... it echoed a moment of awakening

In light's embrace, life's tapestry weaves,
As nature's breath, in change, believes."

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post, 14/01/2024

I saw an image of a train in the clouds last year. It happened just before twilight while I was parked at a stop sign.

The Mystical Train

Within a blink, before the eye
an image moved, swept through sky,
its wheels gained purchase.
as it steamed away
draped in blue and silver grey.

And as I watched the evening lapse.
plumes spiralled high and made a path.
that drew the gaze through waves aglow.
with fiery sparks lit by hammer blows.

This cloud filled train, a celestial beast,
its ghostly whistle, a haunting feast,
in its wake, dreams soared high,
as sky itself waltzed with sheer delight.

Then clouds, like billowing curtains unfurled,
To reveal secrets of another world,
And in that moment, I dared to believe,
That magic still existed, on this new day's eve.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post, 12/01/2024

January laid-out its palette. Umbers, greys, russets, blues, and ochres filled its board. And Day looked on as dove-grey patterns filled the scene. A mist inked in, topped by lush grasses so green. Then hedgerows were put-down and squiggle-filled with lines of reds, blues and browns , and a similar mix was poured on trunks and branches. This fixed form for each tree was created with a different sense: oak, copper beech, blackthorn, ash and cherry. While on the horizon, a lake was filled with bluey-greys before January pulled sky down, to mirror dawn while on lake's edge it painted tracks; and before they dried a train drove through: The Sligo train with rhythmic clatter of wheels on tracks left its musical sound to echo through the silent landscape as this January Day awoke to the articulation of a season’s narrative.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post 10/01/2024

Light Framed Scenes

Time speaks a name and in the saying,
Life is loaded in the season’s vein.
To be shed when all verse is borne.
In windy blustery streets, in lanes

Where each leap and turn, is made
of flakes and snow that whispered tales,
Of sun’s long-sets; and moons that dozed
As ghostly clouds unwound and daylight paled,

In skies blanketed with unfallen snow:
Where Jack Frost first met earthed roomers.
They who made and generated dough
And then became our season's boomers.

Someone's child died in Dublin last night, the first homeless death of the year, he was am Irish man in his 40s. May he Rest in Peace: One of our first classic poems to publish up to 'The Linnet's Wings' back in the day, was Anderson's 'Little Matchstick Girl' it's a story about a homeless child and her dying dreams. It was originally published in 1845.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

The Little Matchstick Girl

Diary Post 08/01/2024

I watched a sheep jump a fence today, I watched as he propelled his front legs up and over the wire, his heavy momentum lifted and dragged his back legs as he appeared to pause, momentarily, on the thin wire to find the balance to tip forward, to allow for a dignified landing, there was method build into his form, a reminder for me that there’s a rule to each facet of life.

As dusk falls there’s a scent of rain in the high cloud cover, and sheep as big as cows graze on the ground; the January days are short, it seems only a few hours ago that they lined the side of the meadow as they slept on their frosty bed, at dawn, when I saw them I thought how 'smart': they’re defrosting a spot to graze on.

It’s lively country living if one takes account of the birds and small animal activity; like the susurration of small birds that lifted to move in unison against the sky, flowing like a gentle gust of wind before landing to lift again, rising and lifting, rising and lifting in a hushed-lit-harmony; and then the wily fox --ever watchful--visited the yard this morning, with his bright intelligent features, deep russet coat and dazzling curiosity. His hunt for food highlighted the constant struggle to balance the rule.

In this world so grand, with nature as guide,
Each creature, each moment, in beauty abides.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post: 06/01/2024

A Treasury of Colour

I worked today.

Started early and finished late. I have a desk in my bedroom, so I wake up, get up, turn on the computer and go into the kitchen and put the kettle on.

Dawn arrived in, towing in its wake a beautiful frosty morning -- barbie blue and pink skies lit the deep emerald greens of the landscape, the frost stayed on the ground until late afternoon, and when it melted the air made pearling lines of breath on the day’s surface, like a human breath rising in a cold day --

Now at 16.23 there’s a deep yellow ball falling on the horizon, falling from the silk laden sky, falling into the lake, and as it falls life dimensions change, and the sky becomes bigger, grander, filled with dusky greys and blues, and light yellow streaks as daytime fades

Frost breathes morning light,
Sun dips low, colors the sky,
Day whispers goodnight.

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post:04/01/2024

The winter that cradles
the break on our timeline
has darkness that nurtures.
life's seeds as they fall.
for soul's are earth clutched
and frozen on star signs,
awaiting a spark.
from spring's tender call

Beneath the false whispers,
a slumbering earth sighs,
it's dreaming in hues of
a sun’s gentle thaw.
And where roots twine in silence,
A frosty embrace lies,
there, yearning for warmth.
to unlock a dew-blah

In the vast, sleeping meadow,
A wild garden quivers.
it's washed out by rain.
in morning’s last fall.
Each raindrop a whisper
A thundering descent dive
Each cloud a stream
A glistering shawl.

But this morning is light filled
The sky's icy blue
It's spark's shaped by shadow
As colour renews

Mari Fitzpatrick, Portnashanagan

Diary Post: 02/012024

For the last number of years I have been painting and writing my way through the month, of January. It's my way of climbing into the New Year and drawing light in. Occasionally I'll paint an image to run alongside old poems and this is what I did here. The poem 'The Dancer's Spin' was inspired by a Fall Spanish sunset and by Lavery's 'Anna Pavlova' painting, which I had been studying earlier that same day. I felt that I could see his brush stroke within the beauty of the scene. So this January I completed a Leitrim impression, a memory from the many beautiful Shannon sunsets that I viewed through my office window that overlooked Lough Bofin.

The Dancer's Spin

Last night I watched a seed
being buried by a resting sun
It was in contemplation
of a day now gone,

It drew from earth that pearly light.
You know the one that flits on wind?
And it planted it behind
The image of a dancer's spin.

A body wrapped in orange
and golden hue had arms stretched high.
A graceful reach that spun
right through the falling sky

And as the light reeled in a pirouette
it shimmed up a sigh.
A sigh of beauty and delight
was what the day let fly.

And when the moon appeared
A glory floated in its shade.
And in the heavens the stars stepped up
to join our life parade

Last night I watched a day
being planted by a setting sun.
It was in contemplation
of a dream: well spun.

Mari 2018-2024

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